Princesses and Knights
*Fan Favourite 2010/2011*
Do you have a little Princess in your house or a brave Knight protecting your castle? If so, try this Theme Day for some Royal fun and spend some time together as a family learning about Medieval times.
Print out the Family Theme Day Planner and decide which activities you’d like to do and in what order.
“The Princess Pat” is a camp song I learned at Girl Guides where the group echoes the lead singer after every line. Check here for lyrics: http://www.ultimatecampresource.com/site/camp-activity/princess-pat-song.html
There are any number of songs from Princess related cartoon movies (Disney, Barbie...) as I come from a house of boys I have no idea which ones are popular so take your pick from your own collection.
Find some classical music with a harpsichord in it for a Medieval feel.
You can find many free colouring pages online by using your favourite search engine and typing in “Princess” or “Knights Colouring Pages” or print out my Princess and Knight Colouring Page.
JOURNALING QUESTION PROMPT:
Write out one or more of the following questions in the Family Theme Day Scrapbook or on a piece of paper to glue in the scrapbook: What would be the best thing about being a princess/knight? What would be the worst thing about being a princess/knight? Would you like to be a princess/knight? Why/why not? If you lived in a castle what would it look like? What do you know about Medieval Times?
Choose the level of your child:
Toddler – discuss the answer(s) out loud first and have your child draw a picture of the answer
Preschooler/Kindergartener – discuss the answer(s) out loud first and write the answer down for him/her leaving one word for him/her to write out himself/herself with your help. You could also encourage him/her to draw a picture as well.
Early Grade School – have your child either write out the answer himself/herself (encourage phonetic spelling) without your help, or offer to help with spelling each word out loud one word at a time.
Grade School – have your child write a sentence or two on his/her own and then read over and discuss the response. (You decide whether to correct the spelling or not)
Older Child – have your child write a longer response (paragraph).
As A Challenge – instead of a question ask your older child to write a story about a Princess and/or a knight.
Raid your child’s bookshelves to find any books about Princesses or Knights.
Go to the library with your child to find some books about Princesses or Knights.
Go to the library on your own to find books about Princesses and Knights to have already on hand for your theme day. Many libraries allow you to go online and search for titles based on subject. Reserve them if you can to save time.
Learn what it took to be a Knight in Medieval times by reading these titles if you can find them:
· The Making of a Knight: How Sir James Earned His Armor, by Patrick O’Brien, Charlesbridge, 1998 – This book is like an historical fiction picture book as it follows young James from seven years old when he goes off to be a Page to when he is fourteen and becomes a Squire and then a Knight at Twenty-one. Gorgeous paintings look at James’ journey to knighthood and also medieval life.
· Eyewitness Knight, written by Christopher Gravett, Photographed by Geoff Dann, DK Publishing, Inc. , 1993 – This is a great book for older kids as it has lots of details and history accompanied with many different photographs of armour, weapons, tapestries, etc., to really go into detail about what knights were.
Learn about the history of real Princesses from this book if you can find it:
· To Be A Princess: The Fascinating Lives of Real Princesses, by Hugh Brewster and Laurie Coulter with Paintings by Laurie McGaw, A Scholastic/Madison Press Book, 2001—This book looks at real princesses from various times and places: Mary (1516-58) and Elizabeth (1533-1603)Tudor of England, Marie Antoinette (1755-93) of France, Victoria (1819-1901) of England, Ka’iulani (1875-99) of Hawaii, Olga 91895-1918), Tatiana (1897-1918), Maria (1899—1918) and Anastasia (1901-1918) Nikolayevna of Russia, Gayatri “Ayesha” Devi (1919 - ) of India, Elizabeth (1926- ) and Margaret (1930 -) of England.
For fun try these titles to learn how to be a Knight or a Princess:
· Imagine You’re a Knight, by Lady Megavere and Lucy d’Ancealot (aka Meg and Lucy Clibbon) Annick Press, 2005 – A fun book with some knightly facts (and some fiction) about how to be a knight.
· Imagine You’re a Princess, by Princess Megerella and Princess Lululbelle (aka Meg and Lucy Clibbon), Annick Press, 2005 – Learn what it takes to be a princess in this playful book.
For some tales of Princesses from other countries try to find these fairy tales:
· Princess Florecita and the Iron Shoes: A Spanish Fairy Tale, by John Warren Stewig andillsutrated by K. Wendy Popp, Apple Soup Books, 1995 – This gorgeously illustrated book tells the tale of a brave Princess who travels a long long way to save a sleeping prince.
· The Tsar’s Promise, retold by Robert D. San Souci and illustrated by Laren Mills, Philomel Books, 1992 – This Russian tale has a magical princess help a prince escape a powerful demon.
· A Treasury of Princesses: Princess Tales from Around the World, by Shirley Climo and illustrations by Ruth Sanderson, Harper Collins Publishers, 1996—This collection would be better for older kids as it has only one illustration per story and a lot of writing, but the stories are very interesting. There are tales from seven places: China, Arabia, Russia, Africa, Germany, Central America and Greece.
Here are some Princess Picture Books that are worth reading if you can find them:
· Don’t Kiss the Frog: Princess Stories with Attitude, Chosen by Fiona Waters (various writers and illustrators), Kingfisher, 2008—This book is a collection of six stories of Princesses who don’t follow the traditional patterns of fairy tales.
· Jane and the Dragon, by Martin Baynton, Candlewick Press, 1988—The tale of a girl who wanted to be a knight and with the help of a friendly jester who tells her to live her dream she does become a knight by saving the prince and becoming friends with the dragon.
· The Paper Bag Princess, by Robert Munsch and illustrated by Michael Marchenko, Annick Press Ltd., 1980 – A favourite of mine from when I was little, Princess Elizabeth outsmarts the dragon and saves the Prince who is ungrateful and thinks she is too messy because she is wearing a paper bag.
· The Paper Princess, written and illustrated by Elisa Kleven, Dutton Children’s Books, 1994 – A lovely book about a girl who makes a paper doll princess that blows away in the wind and thus is sent on a little adventure as she tries to find the little girl.
· The Princess Knight, by Cornelia Funke and illustrated by Kerstin Meyer, The Chicken House, 2001 – Great story of a princess raised as a knight by her father the King, who when asked by her father to be the prize in a jousting competition disguises herself as Sir No-Name to take matters into her own hands.
Here are some Knight Picture Books that are worth reading if you can find them:
· Arthur and the Sword, retold and illustrated by Robert Sabuda, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 1995—This book retells the story of the sword in the stone and how Arthur became king. The gorgeous stained glass illustrations make this book even more appealing.
· The Bravest Knight, by Mercer Mayer, Dial books For Young Readers, 2007 – A little boy wishes he lived a thousand years ago and imagines his life as a squire for the bravest knight.
· Do Knights Take Naps, written by Kathy Tucker and illustrated by Nick Sharratt, Albert Whitman & Company, 2000 – Each page answers a question about knights in rhymed verse with funny illustrations.
· The Knight Who Was Afraid of the Dark, by Barbara Shook Hazen and pictures by Tony Ross, Dial Books for Young Readers, 1989 – Sir Fred is the bravest and strongest Knight of all, but he has a secret: he is afraid of the dark. Will his fear cause him to lose his true love?
· Take Care, Good Knight, by Shelley Moore Thomas and pictures by Paul Meisel, Dutton Children’s Books, 2006 – One of the “Good Knight” series about a knight and his three little dragon friends.
TOILET ROLL PRINCESS/KNIGHT:
Materials: Empty toilet paper rolls, coloured paper, glue stick, markers, child-safe scissors, tape (optional) face cloth for sticky fingers.
Step 1: Have your child decide whether he/she is making a knight or a princess then pick the colours he/she would like to use for armour/dress, skin and hair.
Step 2: Help your child measure the paper (for armour/dress) to fit the toilet roll and cut to fit.
Step 3: Apply glue to the paper and wrap the toilet roll to cover it completely. Hold tight until it stays together (you may need some tape to keep it in place).
Step 3: Cut out a circle of paper for the face and have your child draw a face on it.
Step 4: Help your child cut out hair, crown or tall princess hat, helmet, etc. to embellish the face.
Step 5: Glue the face to the toilet roll and glue any accessories (crown, hair, helmet, sword).
Step 6: Cut out arms and glue them to the sides of the toilet roll.
Step 7: Let them dry and then use them to play and create your own adventure.
PRINCESS OR PRINCE CROWN:
Materials: Construction paper (whatever colour your child wants the crown to be), tin foil, glue stick or stapler or tape, child-safe scissors, crayons and markers, coloured paper.
Step 1: Cut a long strip of construction paper and cut out peaks to make points in the crown.
Step 2: Let your child decorate the crown with markers or crayons.
Step 3: Cut out diamonds and other shapes from the tin foil and coloured paper and let your child glue them to the crown.
Step 4: Wrap the strip around your child’s head to see how long it should be to fit snugly. Cut off any excess paper and glue, tape or staple the ends together to form a round crown.
Step 5: Let your Princess wear it proudly.
Materials: Cardboard, tin foil, glue stick, child-safe scissors, crayons and markers, face cloth for sticky fingers.
Step 1: Draw a simple sword shape on the cardboard (remember it doesn’t matter if it’s perfect your child will love it non-the-less). For an easy sword shape draw a long lower case ‘t’.
Step 2: Help your child cut the sword shape out of the cardboard.
Step 3: Have your child apply glue to the part that will be the blade of the sword (the long part of the ‘t’) and wrap tin foil around to make a silver blade.
Step 4: Have your child decorate the hilt of the sword (the top part of the ‘t’) with crayons and markers.
Step 5: Let your squire begin his quest by officially being knighted (tap him on each shoulder with the sword before presenting him with the sword).
OPTIONAL: If you have lots of cardboard have your young squires make a shield by cutting out a shield shape and letting them decorate it. Add a cardboard handle on the other side for gripping.
Craft stores often have Princess themed crafts. We found some foam stamps to use with paints to make a storybook picture.
NOTE: If your child likes to draw try to find this book at the library: 1-2-3 Draw Knights, Castles and Dragons: A step by step guide, by Freddie Levin, Peel productions, Inc., 2001.
For some interesting facts about medieval food check out this site http://www.historyforkids.org/learn/medieval/food/index.htm
Have some oatmeal to start this theme day in honour of Pottage, an oat based breakfast dish, which was common in Medieval Times.
Bread was a medieval staple so for a royal snack on this theme day try to make your own. Try this Easy Bread Recipe I found at http://jas.familyfun.go.com/recipefinder/display?id=12826—We weren’t very strong when it came to kneading so the end product looked funny but it tasted yummy!
See if you can find some Heinz (or other brand) Princess shaped noodles in soup.
Serve up a nice roast as the rich nobles and royalty would have in medieval times.
Serve apple juice or sparkling (non-alcoholic) apple cider in place of the common drink of cider in Medieval times, or ginger ale in place of the Medieval beverage ale, or serve lemon lime soda pop in place of mead.
Rice Krispie Castle - Make the Rice Krispie squares according to the box or their web site http://www.ricekrispies.ca/cgi-bin/rk_ca_2007/recipe.pl?id=14# , and then when cooled, cut into squares. Let your children assemble them into a castle and decorate with candies attached with store-bought icing and paint the castle with details using icing sugar and food coloring.
http://www.yourchildlearns.com/heraldry.htm - this site has a story game (good for older kids wince it involves a lot of reading) and has a make your own Heraldry/shield activity.
http://www.knightsandarmor.com/ - this site has a lot of information on knights including the crusades and weapons.
http://www.royalty.nu/history/index.html - this site has information on royalty around the world including King Tut, Cleopatra, Hawaiian Royal history, China and Europe among others.
http://www.royal.gov.uk/ - this is the official website of the British Monarchy.
Q: Why was Cinderella not chosen for the Baseball team?
A: She was always running away from the ball.
Q: What is Sir Gawain’s favourite time of day?
Q: What has four ears, six legs and a shining suit of armour?
A: A knight on a horse.
Q: Why did Cinderella not like going to the beach?
A: She was always losing her glass flipper.
Print out a copy of my Knight’s Quest Scavenger Hunt for each child (read the list before hand to see if you have all the items available) and set your little knights on a simple quest around your house.
Search through your child’s DVD/ video collection (or visit your local library before hand or the Video Store) to find your child’s favourite shows with a Princess or Knights in them.
Some obvious titles include : Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and The Sword and the Stone.
Younger children might enjoy these titles: The Backyardigans: Tale of the Mighty Knights, or Blue’s Room: Knights of the Snack Table.
Older kids might like: The Princess Bride, or Enchanted.
If the weather is nice go to a park with sand or to a nearby beach (if you are lucky enough to live near water) and build a sand castle.
If you do this theme in the winter bundle up and build a snow castle together.
My son’s drawing of a castle (age 7)
Toilet roll Princess and Knights
Cardboard Swords and Shields
Paint Stamps (from a craft store)
Our edible castle
Caernarfon Castle, Wales
My son’s drawing of a dragon (age 7)
Photo: C Wright
Princess and Knight Colouring Page
(as coloured by my son, age 2)